Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Hello and welcome to French Touch Composition. This is a new site I’ve created in order to host an article series that looks to observe the many methods and techniques of songwriting used by the most prominent artists in the French touch style.
My decision to start these writings is rooted in my passion for French touch. Hearing Daft Punk’s 2001 album Discovery six years ago was a life-changing experience for me. It was my gateway into music as a whole: the record was like nothing I had ever heard before, and resonated with me on an incredibly deep, personal level. I craved for more music in its vein, and eventually found the likes of the Ed Banger Records crew (with artists such as Justice, SebastiAn, Breakbot etc.) which further cemented my love. I sensed that there was something very special within this music, and I knew that I wanted to dedicate this chapter of my life toward embracing it.
French touch seemed a bit too niche to pursue solely, so I ended up going to college for music in order to learn more about the medium and to perhaps expand my taste, as the curriculum in schools is based around classical and jazz. Unfortunately, I always felt like an outsider peering in. The music we studied never spoke to me, which left my heart to yearn for the material that led me down this path in the first place.
Though my studies left me unfulfilled, what they did supply me with was the knowledge of the nature of music and how it works.
The nature of music lies in man. Music must ultimately be interpreted (as in, be mentally registered) by a human listener. The human listener has psychological biases affecting the information it receives, as it is a pattern-seeking creature, and limitations to its ability to comprehend. These factors are innate to human psychology: they are timeless, and cannot be cheated, suppressed, or ignored.
Composers have been aware of these factors for centuries and continue to write in regard to them in order to achieve whatever they seek to achieve musically. The manipulation of these factors by composers were recognized and eventually developed into principles and devices. All the music we are familiar with work off of these ideas. Mozart works the same way as Michael Jackson, fundamentally.
Naturally, the music of French touch utilizes and can be comprehended with these same ideas. That’s exactly what my writings set out to unveil: how the songwriters in the genre utilize fundamental musical concepts in order to write the material that we all know and love.
For music makers, I hope to inspire them by shedding a light on how the greats in the style use tried and true concepts that anyone can employ in their own songwriting. For listeners, I hope to show them a new perspective that they can appreciate the music from. I truly believe that French touch is a genuine artform, and one that I’m very excited to explore together with you all.
I’m looking to release an article every three weeks or so. I’ll further cement the frequency once I get into a habit of writing for the site. Make sure to sign up for the e-mail subscription on the bottom of the site, and to give a Follow on Twitter in order to be notified with any coming news regarding the site.
See you soon,